Losing it.

January 4, 2009

Well, it happened to me.  The New Teacher lost her Voice.

It happened about two weeks ago.  I really really really lost it right before Christmas.  I had not been feeling my best over the weekend, fighting off a nasty something or other, and a sore throat.  Well, I woke up at that particularly lovely hour of 4 am to greet my amazing 5:30 yogis and was SO hoarse.  My throat was sore, but I taught, then went back to teach 9:30.  Somwhere around 40 mnutes into class I didn’t know how on earth I was going to finish.  Thank the Gods above for the microphone.  I surived that one but was whispering as I left the studio.  It’s been nearly two weeks and though my voice is back, mostly, I still can’t sing..  at all.  And yes, I can usually sing.

Anyway.

I lost my voice.  I have gotten the lecture, so please..  I know.  I KNOW how to use my voice.  I’ve had plenty of voice lessons.  Diaphragm, I know, I know.  Really, I think I lost my voice because of whatever something or other I had.  Either way, it was gone.  And if there’s anything you can NOT do without a voice, it’s teach Bikram Yoga.

This too shall pass.

So, I’m fine, and I only missed two of my classes thanks to the Holiday time.  By the way, my Holiday was great and I hope yours was too.

So I think I’ve lost count of how many weeks I’ve been back from Teacher Training.  I’ve also lost count of how many classes I have taught.  Teaching is going so well.  I really love it, like, a lot.  I love love love love it.  Of course, it does not hurt that I have the best studio to teach in with the best fellow teachers and bosses (shameless plug)..   In all seriousness, I feel great about teaching.  I feel so supported at BYTW and feel like I’m learning as I teach, and that’s the point, right?

Every day is different when you teach.  Much like when you practice, you can never really tell how the class will go.  I’ve had some rough classes.  My worst on record, I believe, was a Friday 5:30 am’er where I was so sick by the middle of class I barely made it home.  That was no fun, but a learning experience.  I’m learning more than ever to take care of myself and respect my physical limits.  And yes, I do have some.  Teaching can be exhausting,  It’s hard to find the balance between teaching class and finding time to take class.  I’m still working it out, but mostly I get in the room as much as I can and not worry about the rest.  Some days, like today, after teaching a double back to back class, I just do not have it in me to take a class (let alone an Advanced Class).  So it is what it is.  I get plenty of yoga, and plenty of heat.  I still crave more yoga, as I always have.  Maybe that will never end.  But one day at at time, I make my way.

It’s a New Year, and I’m still a New Teacher.  I feel great, but still learning, and that’s why I’m here.

Namaste.

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7 Responses to “Losing it.”

  1. Tasha Says:

    Hi Karen. Matt recommended me to your blog. Ah, you are bringing me back to my first few weeks of teaching-those blessed moments where we learn so much – about yoga, about our teaching style, what inspires us, what our limits are! I admire you for teaching morning classes – I did it for 2 years before I realized I am a night owl and it will stay that way no matter I tried to force it!

    Be good to yourself, don’t push, remind yourself to follow everything that you always tell your students-HONOR your self, even if it is a sick self. Hopefully, you have a good sub list to call upon when you need it.

    I look forward to reading about your journey. Happy New Year!

  2. mammaren Says:

    Tasha,
    Thank you so much for stopping by to read the blog. Isn’t the internet an amazing place? 😉 I am learning so much as I teach, and finding I have SO much more to learn.

    I love the morning classes. I feel my best in the morning and really enjoy the students who commit to doing their yoga that early.

    Thanks for sharing your comments. I look forward to hearing more from you. Take care.

  3. Sean Says:

    Karen,
    I need to read your blog more regularly. You’re inspiring. I so much appreciate the equanimity with which treat yourself, how kind you are to yourself and how circumspect. I hope that your students (I love that you have students!) pick up some of that.

    I’m sure you’ve considered the symbolic or metaphoric reasons one may experience a lost voice. It seemed especially important to me that you said: “If there is anything you do NOT do without a voice, it’s teach Bikram Yoga.” Bikram is, after all, so much an expression of yourself… Anyway, that line just caught my eye.

    And, you’re right: every day is different when you teach. And the best teachers – in my experience – are the ones who are *always the new teachers, no matter how long they’ve taught. Again, something I so much enjoy about you: your willingness and ability to be present.

    It’s good to read you again. I’ll make more a habit of it.

    Namaste,
    Sean

  4. Angela Says:

    I have been reading about BY and I live in the Woodlands. I was on the BYTW website and came over to your link. I am really interested in BY but I guess I am a bit a scared to try it out. I am not flexible, not tiny and overall need exercise, a clear mind and a place to focus on me (which is why I am interested in BY in the first place). So I read through your web blog and you have given me the motivation to at least try it. I am so scared though to walk in that room for the first time. Any tips or hints for me?

  5. mammaren Says:

    Sean
    I spent a great deal of my life hating myself. I spent a lot of my young adult life disregarding my own rights as a human and neglecting my own needs. The care I afford myself now is a reflection of lessons I have learned from years of depression and struggling to find my Self. I hope to show that when I teach. I believe yoga is first about finding who you are in that mirror. It takes so much time just to *see* yourself.

    It’s interesting that you mention the metaphor of a lost voice. Perhaps I’ll write more on that later today. I actually had NOT thought at all about it. Thank you for mentioning it. It gives me a new perspective on an annoying situation.

    Thank you for reading and I truly appreciate your kind perspective and encouragement.

    Take care Sean, and YOU should also write more soon 😉

  6. mammaren Says:

    Angela, Welcome to my blog. Thank you for reading. My encouragement to you is just to come to the studio. Often times the hardest thing is simply walking into the room. I believe that no matter what place you are in physically or otherwise, Bikram Yoga can benefit you. Don’t worry about being in shape or anything else. Everyone is welcome at our studio. Bikram Yoga is for Every Body. Come take a class, meet our teachers, and be encouraged that everyone will be supportive of you no matter your journey. I look forward to meeting you.
    Namaste.

  7. David Says:

    Hi. My name is David, I’m from sweden and I’ve been practicing Bikram yoga since september 07. I had never practiced anything at all in any way before my wife dragged me down to the yoga studio. My practice really is up and down all the time, both physically and mentally, but I have come to realise Bikram yoga is now part of my life…
    Sara – that’s my wife – introduced me to your blog and I enjoy reading it.
    If I could some day get the money, I’d go to teacher training along with my wife.
    Eventually, one day, in the future.

    All the best
    /David


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